Many people might find the topic of atomic bombs disturbing. Some may
wonder why even discuss the topic. If you stumbled upon this, you might
wonder how someone would "enjoy" putting together a website about the
testing of terrible devices like nuclear weapons. Even if you read closely,
and see that the real intrigue here is the discovery of long lost classified
documents in an attic, and an unexpected discovery of the previous owner,
even at that, you might still think the topic of nuclear weapons should be left
On another page, I made reference to people trying to frame the nuclear era
of the 1940's from a modern 2008 perspective. Here, on this site, I highlight
documents and photos from the first post-war atomic test. In my research
for this site, I found many online blogs that oversimplify the issues of
atomic weapons in that post-war era. Being the son of immigrant parents
from Poland who lived through the war as children, I grew up with a different
perspective. Different from most people whose parents or grandparents
lived in the U.S. Point being, the war was very complex. Motivations, and
issues are never clear. And for people involved, simple survival was what a
lot of decisions came down to.
In an effort to try to have people understand some of the motivations of the
Atomic Age of the 1940's, I have some excerpts from one of my favorite
books of all time. You see the header on this page, "Thank God for the Atom
Bomb". It's not just an ironic catch phrase meant to shock you. It's the
actual title of a book by Paul Fussell.
Paul Fussell was a junior officer in a line company in Europe during World
War 2. And he personally experienced all the terrible things that go with
that, including being severely wounded by shrapnel. In this book, Professor
Fussell talks about the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan, as well
as the perspective of someone who would not have to die because the war
Despite the fact the war was over when Operation Crossroads occurred, the
memory of the war was still fresh. And America's strength in victory was
accepted and maintained by further testing of atomic bombs.
I have attempted to contact Paul Fussell via e-mail to request permission to
post this excerpt. Despite not hearing from him, I have decided to post it
here due to its important educational value, especially in the context of a
non-profit site such as this.
Click below to read an excerpt from "Thank God for the Atom Bomb"
Opens as a PDF File in a
NOTE: August 6th, 1945 is
the day the Enola Gay
dropped the bomb on
Hiroshima, 65 years ago